Ritorniamo

Other
Monday, April 20, 2009
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The good life.The good life. (Courtesy Riva) 

Last fall, the editors of The Architect’s Newspaper spent a week in Venice reporting on the architecture biennale. One of our fondest Venetian memories—the few times we could afford them—was moving around La Serenissima in water taxis.  As we’ve noted before, the Venetian water taxi is the world’s most elegant form of public transportation: hand-made wooden motor boats with tuck-and-rolled leather seating, customized canvas hoods, and spit-shined wooden hulls and decks. Well, the editors are headed back to Italy, this time for Milan’s Saloni di Mobile.

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Michelle, Meet Maggie

Other
Friday, April 3, 2009
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Architecture's ambassadors. (Courtesy BDOnline)

Since the Obamas moved to Washington, we’ve been waiting for the administration to make good on its promises for new government policy on architecture and planning. There may be hope yet: While the president spends his days in Europe with politicians, Michelle has been making the rounds of innovative social centers. Building Design caught the first lady with Ivan Harbour and Richard Rogers at their Maggie’s Centre in Hammersmith, London. Let’s hope she was as impressed with the architecture of the centre—promoted by its co-founder Charles Jencks—as with its innovative programming for women with cancer.

Artists to Redesign Biennale Facilities

Other
Monday, March 30, 2009
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The bar and cafeteria designed by Tobias Rehberger. (all images courtesy Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia)

The Venice biennale was founded in 1895 in one of La Serenissima’s few green spaces, the Giardini di Castello. It has occupied a random series of buildings in the park, which include national pavilions (the Belgians built the first in 1907 and the U.S. joined the party in 1930) and an undistinguished hall called the Italian pavilion since the late 1930s. Today the organization that operates the biennales (art, architecture, film etc.) announced plans to change the name of the Italian pavilion in the giardini to the Palazzo delle Esposizioni della Biennale and upgrade its aging infrastructure. While these changes will be welcome by the public, the spaces are all being designed by artists, not architects. Read More

Say Goodbye to Your Gnome

Other
Monday, March 9, 2009
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What better way to usher out the profligate design culture of the Bush era than to have these Alien Gnome Bandits escort your Philippe Starck Gnome thingee back where it belongs–into the past. Read More

Kenny’s Paradise

Other
Friday, February 20, 2009
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Paradise, in wood, stucco, and stone. (All photos courtesy Crosby Doe Associates)

(Courtesy Crosby Doe Associates)

Could it be possible that Mr. San-Francisco-architecture Kenny Caldwell is tiring of the city? He is looking into the purchase of a spectacular Frank Lloyd Wright home in Los Banos, California, an “undiscovered” Central Valley town he calls “paradise.” Read More

War-torn Architecture

Other
Thursday, February 19, 2009
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Rebuilding and remembering in Belgrade. (Courtesy Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss)

Rebuilding and remembering in Belgrade. (Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss)

Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss sent along this thought provoking picture from his native Bosnia, as well as the following explanation: Read More

LAVA’s Green Lycra

Other
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
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If you find yourself in Sydney, Australia before June 10, you might want to run by the Customs House to see Green Void, which has an earlike affinity to Marsyas, Anish Kapoor’s 2002 sculpture for the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Read More

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Stay at Home Weekend

Other
Friday, January 30, 2009
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Courtesy Porsche

You probably haven’t been invited to the opening of Delugan Meissl’s spectacular looking new Porsche museum tomorrow afternoon in Stuttgart… Read More

The Alfa Architect is Back!

Other
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
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Alfa Romeos Giulietta Spider.Alfa Romeo’s Giulietta Spider.

Buried deep in a New York Times article on Fiat’s proposed alliance with sad old Chrysler is a detail that will make many architects happy. As part of the deal, Chrysler will build small cars for the American market, like the Cinquecento-styled Fiat 500. But more to the design point, Chrysler will also start building Alfa Romeos for the domestic market. As it has long been the favorite of architects—from the Italian Futurists to Craig Hodgetts—let’s hope the design of the new Alfas remains in Italy with Bertone and Pininfarina. And not in Detroit.

WTC Model to NYC

Other
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
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The National September 11 Memorial and Museum has just announced that it has been given Minoru Yamasaki’s final presentation model (he built 108 different prototypes) of the World Trade Center Tower Project. It has been donated by the American Architectural Foundation in Washington, D.C., where the model is currently on view until January 15. Read More

Rem Sees the Sea

Other
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
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Courtesy Netherlands Society for Nature and the Environment 

OMA and Rem Koolhaas have released an ambitious plan for the North Sea that would produce all the electricity for Dutch households via offshore wind power before 2020. Commissioned by the Netherlands Society for Nature and the Environment, the plan would create North Sea wind parks as a “sustainable battery for Europe.” Read More

Brilliant Bamboo

Other
Friday, January 9, 2009
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Morigami Jin’s Reclining II

It’s hard enough to see all the gallery exhibitions devoted to architecture in any given New York City week, but if I also try to visit design shows, it takes every waking moment. (I missed the top floor of MoMA’s Home Delivery show, for god’s sake, even though I caught the prefabs on West 54th Street.) New Bamboo: Contemporary Japanese Masters at the Japan Society is a show I read about in the A/N diary and kept thinking: “I should run up and see this.” Well, it closes on Sunday, Read More

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